The common media portrayal of young people damaging their hearing by listening to loud music is, in fact, grounded in reality. For example, a recent study revealed that 13% of men between the ages of 20 and 69 suffer hearing loss related to noise. While music is not the only culprit, all persons are vulnerable to noise-induced hearing loss; steps for prevention should commence at an early age.
Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels causes gradual hearing loss. As the decibels grow, the potential for accelerated damage increases as well. Many power tools, including power lawnmowers, product 90 decibels. Entertainment options such as MP3 players, computer games, and toys can exceed 110 decibels while live music can reach 115 decibels or more. In all cases, these levels are high enough to cause permanent damage.
It is documented that hearing loss among younger healthy men, and to a lesser extent, women is increasing. The critical step to preventing hearing loss is to either avoid loud noises or to protect your ears from exposure to such noise. Without protection, hearing loss emerges, leading to restricted communication, feelings of isolation, and even depression. While exposure to all noise is not preventable, it is advisable to take proper precaution when experiencing such sounds. For example, when listening to music or computer games through headphones, consider purchasing either earphones that eliminate background noise and, by extension, the need for high volume. When operating loud machinery or attending music concerts, use quality ear plugs or muffs to curb exposure to harmful noise.
Research shows that noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise, particularly among men. Before the damage is permanent, please consider investing in high-quality ear plugs. Any expense is by far out-weighed by the benefits of saving your hearing and avoiding life-long medical treatments, hearing aids, and possible psychological damage.
Source: Ask Men